Instance Geographic Location in The Matrioshka Multiverse | World Anvil


Everything you see in the Matrioska Multiverse may constitute spoilers for other worlds I'm working on. Proceed with caution!
An instance is a self-contained region of Unallocated Space where the power of The Word has been exerted to impose structure on the primordial chaos, creating what might be best concieved of as a unique universe within the greater Matrioshka Multiverse. Though they may arise spontaneously over a long enough period of time, most instances are the intentional creations of elder or choir blanks looking to create a habitable space for themselves or others.


Instances are separated from one another by expanses of Unallocated Space and may be isolated from one another or bridged by various means (i.e. the connection between Oxo and the Manifold Sky through the Glass-Block Fortress). Instances can have a wide variety of geographical features, from the terrestrial Candledusk Instance to the ethereal Substrate to the non-euclidean Manifold Sky Instance.   Instances may be surrounded with smaller support 'pocket' instances, and those large enough to support populations of instance blanks require their own versions of The Waiting Room. The Waiting Room of an instance serves as a processing center for blanks entering, leaving, or returning to an instance through the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Other types of support instances might include observation posts, training facilities for blanks expecting to make research excursions into an instance, quarantine zones for blanks exhibiting unusual behaviors, detention centers for blanks that break the greater laws of The Substrate, beta test platforms, and staging areas for instance construction processes.

Ecosystem Cycles

Instances don't typically come into being as 'natural' spaces; all natural processes (i.e. day-night cycles) must be implemented through the power of the Word. The process of constructing an instance's ecosystem can be done before the implementation of time-based processes for the greatest simplicity, but building an ecosystem in 'real time' is seen as more scientifically informative. Some, like Patricia Wixtaki, take pride in the real-world terraforming techniques they learn through the construction of instances in real time.

Localized Phenomena

Each instance possesses a unique set of physical laws. These laws may be manipulated by blanks through the use of the Word, though the difficulty in producing wide-reaching and long-lasting changes scales with the size of the instance.   The laws of large instances are most often 'realistic' in nature - emulating the origin instance in exhaustive detail - as the whole purpose of the Matrioshka Multiverse is to investigate possible means of escaping the eventual heat death of the universe and the subsequent extinction of sentient life. The Committee on Instance Design Standards closely oversees the construction and operation of these instances to ensure operational security, scientific verisimilitude, and instance stability. Examples of these 'doctrinaire' instances include Candledusk Instance before the advent of the Kit's Crater Five; the introduction of 'magic' into this setting was so disruptive that ComInDS was forced to intervene to restore order.   In other cases, the laws of physics within an instance may be tailored for specific purposes not related to the overarching mission of the Matrioshka Multiverse. For example, the personal instances of various high-ranking blanks are often more vibrant and malleable in nature, providing the resident with opportunities for artistic expression, entertainment, and research into new applications of the Word. Mid-sized instances may be used as meeting spaces or waystations, as in the case of Club Chorus or a larger instance's version of The Waiting Room, and these places often feature a variety of sense-altering features. The Substrate itself is an instance engineered as a place where large numbers of blanks of various description can reside, gather, legislate, and collaborate when not elsewhere within the Multiverse.   Construct blanks are created to serve as liaisons between the physical laws of an established instance and the blanks authorized to manipulate them. Construct blanks are underlying physical processes granted the gift of sentience and personality so that they can communicate and solve problems with those processes in real time. The number of construct blanks involved in the care of an instance is proportional to both the size and complexity of an instance. Construct blanks often reside in a 'pocket' instance adjacent to the one they are meant to watch over, though in more fanciful cases (such as the Farforth Instance) they may manifest within the instance itself as 'fae,' 'elementals,' or similar 'nature spirits.'


In addition to reaching an instance to pay it a visit, would-be tourists are required to observe setting-specific rules for interacting with a given instance. For example, 'scientific' instances, which were constructed with an emphasis on physical verisimilitude, might exclude non-researches entirely and require all visitors to observe rigorous scientific protocols (i.e. no resorting to the 'magic' of the Word) while within the instance. Other instances may be dangerous for some reason or reject visitors out of a desire for secrecy. Personal instances are often invite-only establishments, though this will vary from owner to owner. In any case, clever applications of the Word can allow a blank to enter an instance unbidden and get into all sorts of trouble, though doing so may provoke the wrath of Devin Burns, the Allocator, or other law-enforcing entities.   Some instances, such as Club Chorus or the Substrate itself, are regarded as either de facto or de jure public spaces, freely enterable so long as the owner does not develop a distaste for the visitor.

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Cover image: by Ferdinand Stöhr


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